paws No Grace (LP, £18.95)label: Fat Cat
More than just the third PAWS record, ‘No Grace’ is representative of a transformative period of time in the band’s life and is the gravel-throated affirmation of that do it or die attitude that informs any great work of passion. It’s the song you sing when you get kicked in the teeth; the decision you make to get back on your feet and rattle off another punch; it’s the humility of defeat and the ecstasy of triumph because you never gave up. More than anything, it’s the sound of the pure energy and joy that comes from making something with your whole heart. • As well as being a statement of intent, ‘No Grace’ was that opportunity to go big or go home. So PAWS went big. After discovering a mutual appreciation between themselves and bassist / producer Mark Hoppus (Blink 182 / +44), PAWS enlisted his support to help push these new songs to their wildest heights and pack the heftiest punch they could muster. From the eponymous opener it’s clear the two are a perfect fit. Recorded last summer between Chem 19 in Glasgow and a private studio in Somerset, it’s a partnership that strikes hard through the core of the record, from the anthemic gut-punch of ‘N/A’ to the thrashed out madness of ‘Salt Lake’ and ‘Complete Contempt’, PAWS’ third album distills the best of what came before it and builds on it with strength and confidence. • The band have previously shared stages with Wavves, We Are Scientists, The Cribs, DIIV, Japandroids, Ex Hex, The Wytches and Speedy Ortiz. • “‘No Grace’ shows the Scottish trio at its peak, crafting a song that somehow finds a way to make each second catchier than the last” - The AV Club. • “While J Mascis and Mac McCaughan taught these 90s children how to riff and that a catchy lead run can suffice where a chorus might otherwise, pop-punk acts like Blink-182 taught them how to rant.” - Pitchfork. • “The Glasgow trio bring an almighty ruckus.” - NME.
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